Smajilovic leads charge for Nordonia girls swimming

Roger Gordon
Correspondent

Arijana Smajilovic is making quite a splash in the pool this season. The Nordonia freshman has really impressed Knights head coach Glenn Yorkievitz.

“Arijana is just a joy to coach,” he said. “She has the greatest attitude and will swim anything I ask. She is extremely humble and has not yet begun to scratch the surface of how good she can be.”

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Smajilovic’s latest exploits came during Nordonia’s 100-82 victory over Suburban League National Conference rival Twinsburg Friday at the Macedonia Rec Center. The Knights improved to 7-5 on the season.

Smajilovic captured both the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 28.38 seconds and the 500 freestyle with a time of 6:07.66.

Also in the 50 freestyle, senior Maddie Fiorucci finished second (29.46). Sophomore Ella Pendleton finished third (6:44.28) in the 500 freestyle.

Smajilovic was also part of two winning relay teams – the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay. She and Fiorucci teamed with freshmen Reanna Turk and Mallory Ralls to win the 200 medley relay with a time of 2:11.07. Smajilovic, Fiorucci, Turk and Pendleton combined to capture the 400 freestyle relay with a clocking of 4:22.96.

Fiorucci won the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:15.74.

“Maddie returned to the pool after missing several meets, and it was great to see her back in the water,” said Yorkievitz. “Having missed some time, I was not sure how she would perform but she definitely did not disappoint, winning the 100 butterfly going away.”

Turk won both the 100 freestyle with a time of 1:01.66 and the 100 backstroke with a clocking of 1:08.83. Ralls finished third (1:07.17) in the 100 freestyle.

Sophomore Emily Schonauer captured the one-meter diving with a score of 218.15. Danielle Mellino placed third (127.15).

Pendleton finished second (2:26.9) in the 200 freestyle. Allison Schlueter was third (2:31.89). Schlueter also placed third (1:31.77) in the 100 breaststroke.

“Ella continued her successful season,” Yorkievitz said. “She has been solid all year, swimming many different events. You can almost plug her into any event and expect her to perform well. Her versatility is an incredible asset.”

Alex Stalzer finished second (2:55.14) in the 200 individual medley.

Nordonia began the week Jan. 18 by competing in a double-dual meet against National Conference rivals Hudson, the host, and North Royalton. The Knights defeated the Bears 158-141 but fell 238-76 to the Explorers.

Schonauer finished second in the one-meter diving with a score of 198.1.

Turk finished third in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:16.47. Ralls placed fifth with a time of 1:29.29. Turk also was third in the 100 freestyle with a clocking of 1:08.7.

Smajilovic, Pendleton, Ralls and Turk teamed to finish third in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 5:03.75.

Smajilovic finished fifth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:35.51.

Nordonia is scheduled to oppose Chagrin Falls Kenston Jan. 25 at the Macedonia Rec Center. In the same meet, the Knights will go against National Conference rival Cuyahoga Falls virtually.

Nordonia is set to conclude the regular season by traveling to conference rival Wadsworth Jan. 27.